Open Access Short Communication

Effects of Nanoparticles on Soil Microorganisms

Semra ÇİÇEK*

Department of Agriculture Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Atatürk University, Turkey.

Corresponding Author

Received Date: April 12, 2021;  Published Date: April 26, 2021


Background: Rapidly increasing population pressure, widespread environmental degradation, recurrent drought, low productivity of the agricultural sector and limited market access have greatly contributed to critical food shortages in Ethiopia. These in turn have resulted in food insecurity, which is characterized by inability of the people at all times to have a physical and economic access to sufficient food to meet their dietary needs for a productive and healthy life. Therefore; this study was conducted to test the adaptability of improved potato varieties, identify and select the best high yielding and pest and disease resistant/ tolerant variety/ies for target area.

Methodology: Six released potato varieties were brought from Adet agricultural research center and evaluated during 2016 cropping season at two locations (Masha research site and Chena). Six released potato varieties were used for the experiment. The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design replicated three times.

Results: The mean yield was ranged from 286.3 to 398.48 Quintal/ha for Shenkolla and Belete varieties respectively. Based on the recorded parameters Belete variety performed better than other varieties.

Conclusion: The findings of the study revealed that, the three varieties, Belete, Gera and Gudene were best performed than other varieties and will be recommended for the surrounding farmers for wider production. Further study should be carried out with improved varieties to improve potato production, especially in southwestern Ethiopia.

Keywords: Potato; Adaptability; Tepi; Southwestern ethiopia

Abbreviations: C60: Carbon 60; Fe2O3O: Hematite iron oxide; Fe3O4: Magnetite iron oxide; Ag: Silver; ZnO: Zinc oxide; CeO2: Cerium Oxide; TiO2: Titanium dioxide


Nanoparticles, the most important products of nanotechnology, have an increasing use in almost every sector due to their unique properties. Nanoparticles exhibit features such as high catalytic activity, high absorption, high reactivity, high conductivity compared to bulk materials due to their low particle size and large surface area/volume ratio. Due to these properties, nanoparticles are increasingly used in areas such as cosmetics, medicine, communication, paint, agriculture, packaging, consumer products, food additives, construction, animal feed, remediation, textile, composite material, energy [1-4]. Environmental contamination of nanoparticles is also increasing in parallel with the increasing usage amounts. Nanoparticles can contaminate the soil directly or indirectly via air and water. Therefore, soil microorganisms also interact with these nanoparticles.

Soil microorganisms, which are vital for organic matter dynamics and nutrient cycle, biogeochemical cycling, biodegradation of pollutants, crop production, are very important for the ecosystem [5]. Nanoparticles can interact with bacterial cells in different ways including electrostatic attraction, Van der Waals forces, receptorligand, and hydrophobic interactions to exhibit antimicrobial activity [6-8]. Nanoparticles, which follow a path from the outside to the inside, cross the bacterial membrane, affect the function and shape of the bacterial membrane, and then come into contact with cell components such as DNA, lysozyme, ribozyme enzyme. Mechanisms that may result in cell death, such as oxidative stress, heterogeneous changes, cell membrane permeability changes, electrolyte balance disorders, enzyme inhibition, protein inactivation, gene expression changes, may occur with the contact of nanoparticles with bacterial cell components [9,10].

In a study examining the effects of C60 fullerenes on soil microorganisms for 14 days, it was reported that respiratory and microbial biomass were not significantly affected in 0, 5, 25, and 50 mg C60 fullerenes (50 nm≤ size) / kg dry soil applications and the number of rapidly growing bacteria decreased 3-4 fold [11]. Use of Fe2O3 (10.2 nm) nanoparticles stimulated urease and invertase activities, whereas Fe3O4 nanoparticles (10.5 nm) did not induce any modification of enzymatic activities at high concentrations (420, 840, and 1260 mg kg-1 soil) [12].

Significant adverse effects of 0.01 mg Ag nanoparticles per 1 kg of fertile soil on soil microbial biomass and bacterial ammonia oxidizers, the leucine aminopeptidase activity and abundance of nitrogen fixing microorganism were reported at the end of the 1 year study period [13]. In another study, It has been reported that there is a decrease in Acidobacteria (p=0.007) (14.5%), Bacteroidetes (p=0.005) (10.1%) and beta-Proteobacteria (p=0.000) (13.9%) at the end of a 1-year study period with administration of 0.01 mg AgNP/kg loamy soil [14].

In a study conducted to examine the effect of ZnO nanoparticles on soil microorganisms, it has been reported that 1 mg of ZnO nanoparticles (10-80 nm) significantly prevented ammonification (37.8%) in neutrol soil during a 3-month study, and 1 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg ZnO nanoparticles applications in acidic, neutral and basic soil inhibited dehydrogenase activity and fluorescent diacetate hydrolase activity during the one-month study period. In the same study, it was also reported that the toxicity was higher in acidic soil than in neutral soil [15].

It has reported that 1 mg ZnO (15 nm) and CeO2 (10 nm) nanoparticles/1 g agricultural soil application hinder thermogenic metabolism, reduce numbers of soil Azotobacter, P-solubilizing and K-solubilizing bacteria and inhibit enzymatic activities and 1 mg TiO2 (10 nm) nanoparticles /1g agriculture soil application reduced the abundance of functional bacteria and enzymatic activity (urease, catalase) at end of 30 days [16].

Concluding Remarks

Current studies on the effects of the most widely used nanoparticles on soil microorganisms reveal that toxicity can vary according to soil, nanoparticle and application properties (especially time). In addition, according to the studies, it is seen that metal and metal oxide nanoparticles have more negative effects on soil microorganisms compared to organic nanoparticles. However, the present data are not sufficient to clearly demonstrate the effects of nanoparticles on soil microorganisms and for the acceptable nanoparticle amount parameter in the soil. Therefore, more research is needed in this area.



Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest.


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